Little Wolf, August 24, 2012 (view all comments by Little Wolf)
This little collection came out when W.S.Merwin was deservedly serving as poet laureate of the U.S. It rings with grace,without pretentiousness,like casual retellings of favorite moments by an old friend. In one of my favorite poems from this book, he recalls his fascination, as a very young child,with a patch of light playing it's way across a carpet. This was one of many times while reading "The Shadow of Sirius" that I slid back into cherished temporal swatches from my own life. I've always felt that good poetry should invite and reward repeated readings, not demand, and not disapoint. this book succeeds admirably.
HillaryS, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by HillaryS)
Merwin is the kind of poet non poetry reading people want to read. He's topically accessible, but then also a genius in layering symbolism & imagery. I had to read this book for a class, but I'm so glad I was introduced to his writing, and I will be exploring more.
by Helen Vendler, The New York Review of Books,
"In his personal anonymity, his strict individuated manner, his defense of the earth, and his heartache at time's passing, Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the page; he has made for himself that most difficult of creations, an accomplished style."
by Los Angeles Times Book Review,
"Merwin is one of the great poets of our age."
"Merwin's gentle wisdom and attentiveness to the world are alive as ever. These deeply reflective meditations move through light and darkness, old love and turning seasons to probe the core of human existence."
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Featured on NPR's "Fresh Air" and "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS.
Honored as one of the "Best Books of the Year" from Publishers Weekly.
"A collection of luminous, often tender poems that focus on the profound power of memory." —Pulitzer Prize Committee
"In his personal anonymity, his strict individuated manner, his defense of the earth, and his heartache at time's passing, Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the page; he has made for himself that most difficult of creations, an accomplished style." —Helen Vendler, The New York Review of Books
Merwin is one of the great poets of our age.”—Los Angeles Times BookReview
"[The Shadow of Sirius is] the very best of all Merwin: I have been reading William since 1952, and always with joy." —Harold Bloom
"[Merwin's] best book in a decade—and one of the best outright... The poems... feel fresh and awake with a simplicity that can only be called wisdom." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Merwin's gentle wisdom and attentiveness to the world are alive as ever. These deeply reflective meditations move through light and darkness, old love and turning seasons to probe the core of human existence." —Orion
"[The Shadow of Sirius] shows the earthly possibilities of simple completeness in a writer's mature work. More than an achievement in poetry, this is an achievement in writing." —Harvard Review
The nuanced mysteries of light, darkness, presence, and memory are central themes in W.S. Merwins new book of poems. I have only what I remember,” Merwin admits, and his memories are focused and profound—the distinct qualities of autumn light, a conversation with a boyhood teacher, well-cultivated loves, and our long evenings and astonishment.” In Photographer,” Merwin presents the scene where armloads of antique glass negatives are saved from a dumpcart by someone who understood.” In Empty Lot,” Merwin evokes a child lying in bed at night, listening to the muffled dynamite blasts of coal mining near his home, and we cant help but ask: How shall we mine our lives?
somewhere the Perseids are falling
toward us already at a speed that would
burn us alive if we could believe it
but in the stillness after the rain ends
nothing is to be heard but the drops falling
W.S. Merwin, author of over fifty books, is Americas foremost poet. His last two books were honored with major literary awards: Migration won the National Book Award, and Present Company received the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.